'Now we know that high drug prices have been driven in part by an illegal conspiracy among generic drug companies to inflate their prices'.
Connecticut State Attorney General William Tong stated, "What we have found is that the generic drug manufacturers by and large most of the majors represent the largest corporate cartel in American History".
Drugs named in the lawsuit account for billions of dollars in the United States.
A Democrat, CT Attorney General William Tong, said researchers obtained telephone records and emails, text messages to prove a multi-year conspiracy against 20 companies.
Rather than enter a particular generic drug market by competing on price in order to gain market share, "competitors in the generic drug industry would systematically and routinely communicate with one another directly, divvy up customers to create an artificial equilibrium in the market, and then maintain anti-competitively high prices".
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The lawsuit is the second stemming from the multi-state investigation alleging that the 20 companies and 15 individual drug company executives violated federal and state antitrust laws. "When a second generic manufacturer enters, that reduces the average generic price to almost half the brand-name price", the suit says.
The lawsuit expands on an earlier case brought by CT and 19 other states in December 2016. The suit accuses Teva Pharmaceuticals of being the mastermind behind the scheme.
The lawsuit focuses closely on the practices of Teva, claiming that an "overarching conspiracy" characterized as an "agreed-upon code that each competitor is entitled to its "fair share" of the market, whether that market is a particular generic drug, or a number of generic drugs".
The suit contends that this resulted in "many billions of dollars of harm to the national economy over a period of several years". These price increases were sometimes over 1,000%. That hard evidence included "emails, text messages, telephone records, and former company insiders".
The lawsuit also charges other companies made deals that didn't involve Teva, including Sandoz and Mylan.